When growing your business, the two things you need to know are the rate of production and your capacity to increase it.
But is your current rate of production the highest it could be? Do you know how much time you are wasting moving back and forth between different people, machines or locations? Do you know if there are key spaces in your business premises that go unused?
A poorly organized workplace could be costing you a lot of money, without you realizing it. Here are five steps to help you assess and change your work space to increase productivity:
1. Map Your Worksite
If you haven’t already done so, create a process document of everything you do and where. Next, create a map of your worksite and annotate or colour code where these processes happen. Concentrate, for now, on the processes that take up the most of your time or impact your revenue most.
2. Add Movement
Duplicate your map from step one and draw the movements of people, products and goods/information for each process. It will start to look a little messy, so be sure to colour code your lines by job roles or tasks.
Next, annotate the distance and time of each movement, and if the process is ever delayed or fully stopped at any time during the flow. An example could be waiting for someone or something before the next step starts.
3. Take a Step Back and Observe
Take time to go to the “shop floor” and observe how your team does their job. It’s easy to become blind to process efficiency when you’re doing it day in, day out. By taking a step back, you can start to understand where the delays are and how to reduce them. But make sure your team are not aware of your observations, so that they do not amend their behaviour!
4. Ask Your Staff
Next it’s time to involve your team. Present your observations and ask why they think the process fails or takes so long. The people doing the job will know more about the pain points and the reason why work arounds have been made. By involving your team in the analysis stage, they will be more invested to make any changes.
5. Look for Creative Solutions
Now that you have all your information, it’s time to understand the changes that need to be made. Things to consider are:
Simplify the Space
Are there old promotional banners, machines that are not used anymore and excessive paper being accumulated. Clear out everything that is not needed from a space to allow greater concentration.
Create Single Use Areas
Is the printer creating a distraction for the sales team when they’re on calls? Does the receptionist have the supply cupboard by her desk and is interrupted by people asking for a key or going to and from it constantly?
Give Each Employee a Space
It’s human nature to want your own spot. A place where your papers are in a specific order. Where your machine is always kept the way you want it. Give your employees ownership of their section of the workspace.
Integrate Teams that Work Together
Although it’s important for individuals to have space, it’s also important for people to be located near the ones they talk to most often. Does the sales team need to be near the production team so they can ask questions about feasibility? Does the marketing team need to be located near finance so they can keep up-to-date on the budget and the ROI?
Does the handover of a process between teams create an unnecessary delay? Is there an opportunity to cross-train your employees on the different machines, tools or tasks? Cross-training not only streamlines the process, but will help when staff take vacation.
Assess the Quality of the Environment
Are all your machines working? Does everyone have the machine they need to do their job? Do your employees have comfortable and supportive chairs? How is the lighting of the space and the temperature control? Small tweaks to make the environment more comfortable can create dramatic improvements.
Eliminate Spaces You Don’t Use
Are there spaces that you do not use, and do not need to use? Consider subleasing the space to a complimentary business. It not only saves you money, but could be a good business opportunity for you to trade contacts.
Productivity is as much about making the right choices as it is doing the right work.
Do you want to know more about how to increase your productivity? Small Business BC’s How to Boost Your Productivity and Get More Done seminar on July 12, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM will ensure you are at your productive best.
Are you taking advantage of Small Business BC’s wide selection of seminars and webinars for entrepreneurs and business owners? Space is limited, so don’t miss your chance to register today.
Plus, don’t forget that you can meet one-on-one with an expert to get specific information that applies to your business by booking an appointment with Small Business BC’s Ask the Expert service now.